Russell George and Craig Williams, Welsh Conservative MS and MP for Montgomeryshire, expressed their disappointment and surprise by the initial proposals set out by the Welsh Air Ambulance to close their base in Welshpool, Montgomeryshire.
The initial proposals would see Mid Wales served by air ambulances from the base in Canaerfon in North Wales, with two other bases in Llanelli and Cardiff.
Their concerns are based on the fact that Montgomeryshire and Mid Wales are one of the most sparsely populated areas in the whole of the United Kingdom and a reduction in services could have serious consequences for the quality of healthcare services provided to residents. The initial proposals argue that the move would allow more missions to be carried out in Mid Wales and both Russell and Craig are seeking an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive to examine this claim in more detail.
Russell George MS said:
“The Wales Air Ambulance is there to support rural parts of Wales so I find it difficult to see how the base moving from the heart of rural Wales to North Wales will provide an improvement in service, despite what the Air Ambulance Trust has outlined in their initial proposals.
It is a highly treasured asset and is one of the charities that people in Mid Wales donate to more than any other which is a testament to how valued the service is to the people of Montgomeryshire and Mid Wales.
I have met with Wales Air Ambulance but have requested to meet with the Chief Executive alongside Craig Williams MP to discuss their review in further detail. Both Craig and I will seek to robustly challenge the closure of the base in Mid Wales and look further into the detailing they have provided.”
Craig Williams MP added:
“I am surprised and disappointed by the news that Welshpool Air Ambulance base could be set to close under initial proposals put forward.
We are very proud to have an air ambulance base here in Montgomeryshire and it is an incredibly important service which is vital for rural healthcare. With Montgomeryshire and Mid Wales being some of the most rurally populated areas in the whole of the United Kingdom, having the air ambulance based here naturally makes more sense.
I will await to see what further analysis the Air Ambulance put forward justifying the move and am seeking an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive to discuss their proposals.”
The initial proposals argue that the move would allow more missions to be carried out in Mid Wales and both Russell and Craig are seeking an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive to examine this claim in more detail.